Best Leather Cleaner

best leather cleaner

Leather Honey Cleaner

Leather Honey is a well-established brand in the leather industry and we think it is the best car leather cleaner out of all the products we have tested. Although it is optimal to use it for finished leather, it can also be used for unfinished leather. It works especially well on furniture and car seats, as it is a powerful cleaner and also gentle.

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best leather cleanerIf you want the best leather cleaner or figure out the best way to clean leather, the first thing you need to find out is the kind of leather you have.  All leather comes in two types: finished or unfinished. Finished leather is what most people think of as leather, as it has a shiny smooth coating on the outside. You can find it on wallets, handbags, furniture, and car interiors. Unfinished leather does not have a nice shiny finishing and is raw untreated hide.

Unfinished leather can be found in jackets, shoes, and belts and requires special care because they can easily be damaged by water and dirt. While there are many products on the market, most of them are absolute junk as anybody can make a cleaner from scratch and sell it on the internet. By reading our reviews, you will gain significant knowledge on how to pick the best leather cleaner because we have done most of the heavy lifting for you and weeded out the cleaners that don’t work. You may also want to check out our leather conditioner reviews.

Best Leather Cleaner Reviews

Leather Honey Leather Cleaner

best leather cleanerLeather Honey is a well-established brand in the leather industry and we think it is the best car leather cleaner out of all the products we have tested. The best way to clean leather would be to use this product along with a scrub brush. Although it is optimal to use it for finished leather, it can also be used for unfinished leather. It works especially well on furniture and car seats, as it is a powerful cleaner and also gentle.

Having been in business since 1968, Leather Honey has withstood the test of time by consistently making a solid product. Its leather cleaner is void of all toxic ingredients and no animal products or silicone is used in making this cleaner. What this basically means is it is very gentle on your leather and will not discolor or damage it in any way. Also, you won’t have to wear gloves when using Leather Honey Leather Cleaner because it is also incredibly gentle to the skin.

We have performed many test with this product and compared it to others. After almost every test, the Honey Leather Cleaner came out on top as it leaves the least amount of stains, streaks, and dyes and removes the most dirt. Professional leather cleaners and long term customers all swear by this product. Normally we are quite skeptical when reviews are so high across the board on a commodity product, but we later realized we were wrong about this. With a 100% lifetime guarantee that they actually honor, you can feel relaxed that you are buying a premium product and the best leather cleaner for your money.

Pros

  • Solid brand that is well respected in the industry. Lifetime Guarantee!
  • Great for all types of leather but especially on finished leather
  • Non-toxic and gentle on your leather

Cons

  • Expensive compared to competition

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Fiebing Saddle Soap

best leather cleanerFiebing Saddle Soap is the best leather cleaner if you have unfinished leather. Since unfinished leather is normally extremely porous, it tends to attract dirt and debris. Saddle soap is great for digging deep into the pores of your unfinished leather and remove all stains and dirt. You can use this with finished leather as well, but saddle soap works much better with unfinished leather.  We would recommend you avoid using saddle soap on suede or nubuck, which requires special attention and a special type of cleaner.

We asked many shoe shiners and leather cleaner professionals about saddle soap and many of them recommended Fiebing. So we couldn’t help but test Fiebing along with other saddle soaps mentioned. Fiebing Saddle Soap pretty much cleaned up across the board. It cleans up the most dirt and leaves your unfinished leather looking healthy.

We really like the fact that Fiebing Saddle Soap is cheap and includes a 30 day money back guarantee, which says a lot about their confidence in the product. For the best leather care, we recommend you use the saddle soap in conjunction with a leather conditioner like Fiebing’s Golden Mink Oil Leather Preserver. Overall, if you want the best white leather cleaner that will leave your unfinished leather looking healthy and shiny, get Fiebing’s Saddle Soap.

Pros

  • Cheap and effective on unfinished leather
  • Removes dirt and debris deep inside your leather

Cons

  • Comes in a round container that is annoying to use and clean

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Kiwi Select Suede and Nubuck Cleaner

best leather cleanerKiwi Select is the best leather cleaner that is designed specifically for suede and nubuck. Suede and nubuck are very sensitive types of unfinished leather that traps liquids inside easily. Therefore, using a liquid leather cleaner such as Leather Honey or Saddle Soap is not ideal. Kiwi Select uses a special spray that is not dense enough to sink into your leather and therefore stays on the surface. It is very gentle on your suede of nubuck and will not discolor and damage it, even if you apply a lot of force when cleaning.

As we all know, suede and nubuck are very tough to clean when they are stained. All tested a variety of products on stained suede and nubuck and most just don’t get the job done. We think Kiwi Select is one of the exceptions as it does a great job in cleaning out all stains and dirt without leaving heavy residues. Our primary complaint is that it has a strong scent, which may turn some people off.

We would also recommend wearing gloves when using this cleaner as it does seem a bit strong on the skin as well.  We also suggest you use Kiwi Suede Protector as a conditioner once you have applied Kiwi Select Cleaner. The conditioner will add a protective coating over your suede and nubuck and make it last longer. All in all, get Kiwi Select Cleaner if you want the best leather cleaner for suede and nubuck.

Pros

  • Convenient spray can for targeted cleaning
  • Works extremely well on suede and nubuck and dissolves immediately

Cons

  • Strong scent
  • Does not work for other types of leather

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Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner

best leather cleanerIf you want a quality product from a reputable brand in the auto care industry, you should definitely look into the chemical guys leather cleaner. We like the fact that it is a top performer and also does not leave a nasty chemical smell. It helps wipe away all sorts of contaminants without harming your leather too much.

The Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner is a rock star in terms of removing dirt and oils. It deeply penetrates the pores of your leather in your car or home and lifts out the junk. And best of all, it does all of this while remaining pH neutral and environmentally friendly. Another great feature we should mention is the fact that it doesn’t have any crazy fumes or odors. This is very surprising for a leather cleaner that cleans so efficiently. Although the smell isn’t the best, it definitely doesn’t wreck of chemicals or harm your leather in any way.

All in all, we think Chemical Guys Leather Cleaner has managed to achieve the impossible. They have managed to create a leather cleaner that balances performance, efficiency at cleaning, and safety. Using a bottle of this on your favorite leather products will prevent them from drying, aging, and cracking. It is quite possible the best car leather cleaner around.

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TriNova Leather Cleaner

best leather cleanerThe TriNova Leather Cleaner is certainly a popular brand of choice that will work on all sorts of surfaces. It is quite popular amongst car enthusiasts because of its crazy good efficacy. It is also the best white leather cleaner out there. With the TriNova, you can definitely prolong the life of your leather above and beyond the normal expected range of its competitors. Perhaps this is why so many people use this product. It really does work miracles on leather, especially in bringing dull leather back to life. It also does a great job in removing tough to take out grease and grim. If you have a roughed up leather, the TriNova is the right product for you.

The TriNova Leather Cleaner is very easy to use as it comes in a simple spray on bottle. You simply spray it on any surface and wipe it off with the included microfiber towel. It will work with surfaces other than leather such as vinyl, compound, and saffiano. It is both safe and effective. The solution is pH balanced so that it does not damage your leather. When compared with soap and water, the TriNova makes your leather feel much less dry and worn down. This leather is formulated by leather experts, so you can rest assured it is top quality. While we can’t really verify this claim, we can admit that it is very high quality and good value. It is also the best leather furniture cleaner we have tested.

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Finished Leather vs Unfinished Leather

leather gradesFinished Leather: Finished leather is raw animal hide that has a layer of skin over it. This skin is usually made of some synthetic material which completely covers up the hide underneath. This skin can also be treated in any color and comes in various degrees of quality. When people compare the quality of leather on handbags, more often than not they are talking about the quality of the synthetic skin.  Good quality skin can be very expensive while a cheap skin can be extremely cheap. The skin can be made to be scratch resistant and water resistant, which adds to the cost of the leather.

Finished leather is way more common than unfinished leather. Finished leather can be found in furniture, car interior, apparel and accessories. It is quite easy to tell if you have finished leather. If the leather feels smooth and looks very shiny, more likely than not it is finished leather. Raw untreated hide is course and not very shiny, so most likely you are looking at a nice layer of skin.

Unfinished Leather: Unfinished leather is leather that does not have a layer of skin wrapping around it. It is mostly natural and straight from the hide of animals. It may be dyed or tanned and slightly treated but in general it retains most of its organic features. Unfinished leather is very susceptible to all sorts of elements including but not limited to scratches, , and stains. It is hard to maintain and clean unfinished leather because it attracts so much dirt that seeps deep into the leather.

Unfinished leather comes in many forms including aniline, raw leather, and . You will mostly find unfinished leather in clothing, in particular jackets, belts, and boots. The easiest way to tell if you have unfinished leather is to place a few drops of water on your leather. If the water darkens and seeps through, you probably have unfinished leather. Additionally, you can try scratching it. If you find your leather is easily scratched, you probably have unfinished leather as most finish leather is made relatively scratch resistant.

Cleaning Leather

leatherbrushFinished Leather: Proper leather care starts with routinely cleaning your leather with the best white leather cleaner. You will find that the best way to clean leather is to first vacuum or dust the surface of the leather off. This prevents surface particles from getting into your leather when you expose it to a liquid cleaner. Next you need to apply your cleaner using a cloth or sponge.

The best leather cleaner will be neutral in pH and does not contain anything abrasive or alcoholic. You also want to be using a standalone cleaner, as these 2 in 1 cleaner/conditioner solutions are not very effective. After your apply a little bit of the solution, simply wipe down with a clean dry towel that ideally does not have dyes on it.

You will find yourself cleaning your leather furniture and car seats quite often as you can easily stain them with spilt drinks and dye transfers from jeans. Please do not try to be creative here and design your own homemade solution or use a generic everything cleaner. You will not know how these solutions will react with your leather. For leather furniture and car seats, we recommend Leather Honey Cleaner. We recommend using a microfiber cloth when cleaning your sofas or car seats because microfiber does a better job picking up dirt and debris in large quantities. You won’t need to rub forcefully as Leather Honey Cleaner will react with dirt and debris and do a lot of the work for you already.

cleaning leatherUnfinished Leather: Unfinished leather is a bit harder to clean than finished leather because unfinished leather does not have a protective skin and stains easily. Raw leather itself is very porous and collects liquids easily. Many solutions such as bath soap, dish detergent, and over the counter cleaners will also damage unfinished leather, so you should really pick the best leather cleaner for unfinished leather.

The best way to clean leather is to actually never get it dirty in the first place. But if you must clean unfinished leather, you should start by vacuuming or dusting off the surface. Then apply the best leather cleaner (ideally saddle soap or a specialized suede/nubuck cleaner)  and very gently rub in the circular motion with a . Then let the leather dry before wiping off any excess remains.

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